Simcoe County’s high school students will get a bit more variety in their school day starting September.
Both the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board and the Simcoe County District School Board have opted for a quadmester schedule with two classes per day.
Dawn Stephens, superintendent of education for the Simcoe County District School Board, said there wasn’t much wiggle room for the fall plan.
“The Ministry of Education has told school boards that they must use quadmesters for semester one (Sept. to Feb.) next year,” said Stephens.
The options available for fall planning were to have one subject all day, or two subjects per day with a morning and afternoon class separated by a lunch break.
For the 2020/2021 school year, students had one class all day for a week, and a second class all day for the following week. Two subjects alternated each week and lasted for a quarter of the school year.
The change in daily class schedules, according to Stephens, should help break up the 'monotony' of one class all day all week.
“We believe that by going to two classes per day, it’s just helping students get back to ... remembering what four classes feels like,” said Stephens. “Some of our Grade 9 students haven’t had anything but one class a day, so this will help them get used to what it feels like to be a secondary student.”
Starting this fall, Simcoe County secondary students will have two quarters (quadmesters) between September and February with two classes per quarter. It’s possible, according to Stephens, the MOE could allow a return to the regular four-subject semester starting in February.
“It is a cautious approach,” explained Stephens. “If there is a resurgence and we have to shift back to a one period a day model … we could.”
Though nothing is final until school starts in September, once it does, Stephens said the board will have to stay the course for the first half of the year and reassess for the second half.
“As we get closer to September, we’ll confirm things with families and the community,” she said.